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I mille autunni di Jacob de Zoet (2010)

di David Mitchell

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: Horologists (1)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiConversazioni / Citazioni
5,8933111,659 (4.09)3 / 762
1799, Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk, has a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken--the consequences of which will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings.… (altro)
  1. 120
    Mare di papaveri di Amitav Ghosh (booklove2)
    booklove2: Very similar in writing style and general events.
  2. 61
    La quarta verità di Iain Pears (bellisc)
    bellisc: also set at a crossroads of science and faith, though wholly in Europe, similar in writing style and themes
  3. 51
    L'atlante delle nuvole di David Mitchell (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Really enjoyable set of related stories with the author's well deomonstrated skill
  4. 31
    Embassytown di China Miéville (ansate)
  5. 53
    Shōgun di James Clavell (CGlanovsky, PghDragonMan)
    CGlanovsky: A westerner in Japan.
    PghDragonMan: The best, and worst, of feudal Japan through the eyes of a foreigner.
  6. 21
    The Coral Thief di Rebecca Stott (clif_hiker)
  7. 00
    La rinascita di Shen Tai di Guy Gavriel Kay (rstaedter)
    rstaedter: Though not a story of eastern and western cultures, nonetheless a dense description of a foreign culture in the past.
  8. 00
    Mason & Dixon di Thomas Pynchon (zottel)
    zottel: Very similar feeling, perfect story-telling in well-researched historical fiction.
  9. 12
    Cryptonomicon di Neal Stephenson (psybre)
  10. 12
    Max Havelaar, ovvero le aste del caffe della Societa di commercio olandese di Multatuli (petergt)
    petergt: Both books have a main character who fights against injustice, and are set in the Dutch colonial past.
  11. 49
    Wolf Hall di Hilary Mantel (kidzdoc)
    kidzdoc: This is another excellent British historical novel.
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» Vedi le 762 citazioni

Inglese (299)  Olandese (8)  Tedesco (2)  Francese (2)  Spagnolo (1)  Finlandese (1)  Ceco (1)  Tutte le lingue (314)
1-5 di 314 (prossimo | mostra tutto)
Similar to Cloud Atlas in terms of themes and general feeling. Apparently, Mitchell likes writing about living the hard life, survival versus principles, and ships.

It occurs to me that Mitchells books are permeated with melancholia. This beautiful sadness makes you respect and sympathise with main characters that try to make the best of their lives, even when they've been dealt a bad hand.

If you like this book, read Stoner (Williams) and Shogun (Clavell) next. ( )
  jd7h | Feb 18, 2024 |
A book club pick :)

I wasn’t too keen on picking up another David Mitchell novel after Cloud Atlas. I did enjoy it, but it felt too much like an “I’m writing a bestseller and don’t I know it” exercise. Then I happened to read about The Thousand Autumns in a couple of blogs I trust, that basically said “don’t read Cloud Atlas, read his other books”. And then I suggested it for my book club, and I am glad I did (well, I am writing this review before the book club meeting, anyway… ;) ).

The very first chapter will floor you. Orito is an awesome character (more on this below) and I wanted to see so much more of her.

So I felt the joy that comes upon you when you dive into a good story told well. The history of Dejima is intriguing and I hadn’t explored it much, despite my fascination with Japan (because there is a lot to explore, you know). The author has done a lot of research, and it shows. I loved all the details and the melting pot of Dejima from the very beginning – smart-ass sailors, merchants, slaves, interpreters, courtiers, smugglers etc. Even the minor characters shine!

Jacob de Zoet steps into this medley. Corruption and thievery abound, so he walks on shaky ground and in a web of intrigues.

I always like to read about different cultures meeting:

“ ‘Ask, Vorstenbosch orders, ‘how His Honour enjoyed the coffee I presented’. The question, Jacob notes, provokes arch glances among the courtiers. The Magistrate considers his reply. ‘Magistrate says’, translates Okagawa, ‘Coffee tastes of no other.’ “

The academia meetings were very interesting to read about, with Dutch and Japanese scholars trying to make sense of western science together, as things got lost in translation. Historical figures, such as Sugita Genpaku, make an appearance. Nice!

The writing hooked me and sang to me. Here is Jacob (who has been doing his homework, as one should), catching a Japanese interpreter at a lie:

“Ramifications hatch from the appalling hush.”

And here is the impossible romance:

“I wish, he thinks, spoken words could be captured and kept in a locket.”

And here is autumn:

“Birds are notched on the low sky. Autumn is aging.”

Besides being a very well written piece of historical fiction, this is a novel about choices and their consequences. Jacob makes a noble choice, and then he makes a horrific one, and the difference between doing something noble that is detrimental to you alone and truly taking responsibility for another human being, hits the reader hard. When it comes to responsibility, Orito makes a different choice. I love Orito’s strength, resilience, and agency – while her would-be lovers are busy with angst for months, she plans. I enjoyed her POV much more than Jacob’s (who sometimes comes off as a bit of an everyman), she is a lot more interesting.

The end chapters transformed this book from a four into a five star read. Perfectly done.

P.S. I suspect David Mitchell has seen a lot of samurai movies. The scenes, dialogues, turns of fortune in the samurai/ronin adventure part of the book were exactly right. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2012 about this read: "Nice. Learned about Dutch trade with Japan when the Dutch and Chinese were the only traders with Japan. Dejima Island in Nagasaki Bay, late 1700's through early 1800's. Oh, and a good story of love and secret sects thrown in for fun." First two quotations in the comments section are my exact kindle highlights. ( )
  MGADMJK | Dec 6, 2023 |
I really enjoyed reading this, but ultimately didn't think it was very good. Essentially there are two plot threads: one a reasonably straight-forward historical fiction, about a Dutchman struggling to live in a trading station in early 19th century Japan; the second involves more adventure/suspense/mystery elements, and is really far less convincing - with clichéd characters. It kinda felt to me like Mitchell lacked confidence in the first plot and so tried to ginger the book along with something a bit more uptempo, but for me it undermined the whole thing. Certainly, I felt that the second half (two thirds? not sure) didn't live up to the promise of the first part of the book. That said, I did really enjoy reading it - but any recommendation would be qualified. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
i liked this one a lot. set at the end of the 1700s, at an outpost of the Dutch East India Company, i was engrossed throughout, with great characters, a fine story, and of course very engaging writing, given that it's David Mitchell. ( )
  macha | Oct 27, 2023 |
There are no easy answers or facile connections in “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.” In fact, it’s not an easy book, period. Its pacing can be challenging, and its idiosyncrasies are many. But it offers innumerable rewards for the patient reader and confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless­writers alive.
aggiunto da LiteraryFiction | modificahttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/books/review/Eggers-t.html?ref=bookreviews, Dave Eggers (Jul 1, 2010)
 
Another Booker Prize nomination is likely to greet this ambitious and fascinating fifth novel—a full-dress historical, and then some—from the prodigally gifted British author
aggiunto da sturlington | modificaKirkus Reviews (May 1, 2010)
 
For his many and enthusiastic admirers — critics, prize juries, readers — the fecundity of Mitchell’s imagination marks him as one of the most exciting literary writers of our age. Indeed, in 2007, he was the lone novelist on Time’ s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Through five novels, most impressively with his 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, Mitchell has demonstrated flat-out ambition with respect to testing — sometimes past their breaking points — the conventions of storytelling structure, perspective, voice, language and range. The result, according to Mitchell’s rare detractors, is an oeuvre marked by imaginative wizardry and stylistic showmanship put on offer for their own sake. For most everyone else, however, Mitchell’s writing is notable because its wizardry and showmanship are in the service of compulsively readable stories and, at its best moments, are his means of revealing, in strange places and stranger still ways, nothing less than the universals of human experience.
 
Though direct in its storytelling, Jacob de Zoet marks a return to full amplitude. That means occasionally over-long scenes and one or two rambling monologues. But it also guarantees fiction of exceptional intelligence, richness and vitality.
 
With “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet,” David Mitchell has traded in the experimental, puzzlelike pyrotechnics of “Ghostwritten” and “Number9Dream” for a fairly straight-ahead story line and a historical setting.

He’s meticulously reconstructed the lost world of Edo-era Japan, and in doing so he’s created his most conventional but most emotionally engaging novel yet: it’s as if an acrobatic but show-offy performance artist, adept at mimicry, ventriloquism and cerebral literary gymnastics, had decided to do an old-fashioned play and, in the process, proved his chops as an actor.
 

» Aggiungi altri autori (7 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Mitchell, Davidautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Aris, JonathanNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Berri, ManuelTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Wilcox, PaulaNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato

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For K, H & N with love
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'Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. 'Can you hear me?'
Citazioni
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‘If only,’ Shiroyama dreams, ‘human beings were not masks behind masks behind masks. If only this world was a clean board of lines and intersections. If only time was a sequence of considered moves and not a chaos of slippages and blunders.”
Creation never ceased on the sixth evening, it occurs to the young man. Creation unfolds around us, despite us and through us at the speed of days and nights. And we call it love.
“The soul is a verb." He impales a lit candle on a spike. "Not a noun.”
For white men, to live is to own, or to try to own more, or to die trying to own more. Their appetites are astonishing! They own wardrobes, slaves, carriages, houses, warehouses, and ships. They own ports, cities, plantations, valleys, mountains, chains of islands. They own this world, its jungles, its skies, and its seas. Yet they complain that Dejima is a prison. They complain they are not free.
Killing depends on circumstances, as you'd expect, whether it's a cold, planned murder, or a hot death in a fight, or inspired by honor or a more shameful motive. However many times you kill, though, it's the first that matters. It's a man's first blood that banishes him from the world of the ordinary.
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1799, Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk, has a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken--the consequences of which will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings.

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